It doesn’t matter how you travel round the world, the main thing is that you create memories that last a lifetime – my adventure of a lifetime started in February 2015, when I set off on my first trip to SE Asia, followed by adventures in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Initially, intimidation crept in while travelling, but that quickly changed.
Here are seven round the world travel tips, from my own experiences.
Purchase travel insurance
It’s essential that you purchase travel insurance; depending on the policy, it’ll help you get back home should you become ill, it’ll cover you for medical expenses, loss of expensive gear in your backpack and flight cancellations.
According to ABTA, the number of people travelling abroad uninsured is on the rise. Over the years there have been many horror stories of travellers having to pay huge five figure sum medical bills because they weren’t insured. As a traveller who has type-2 Diabetes I cannot stress enough the importance of making sure you are covered for all pre-existing medical conditions.
Living out of a 46-litre backpack, weighing under 10kg might sound a challenge, but having spent the last 12 months travelling light, it’s great to be able to walk off the airplane, through security, and straight past baggage claim, knowing that you won’t have the stress of waiting for your luggage, praying that the airline have not lost it.
Book accommodation ahead of arrival
Book the first couple of day’s accommodation prior to arriving at your destination, it can save you a lot of stress arriving in a place you’ve never visited before. You’ll find that as you become more confident with your surroundings that it’ll be easier to find accommodation in areas that you want to stay in.
Store important documents online
Use Dropbox (or a similar cloud storage application) to store copies of your travel itinerary, passport, insurance policy and any other important documents like your medical and optical prescriptions. Give the username and password to a family member and friend so in any emergencies they can locate these documents.
Make sure that your documents are saved offline too, so you have easy access to them without the need of the Internet. Dropbox is available on mobile devices, so, if asked for your passport by the police, you can show them a copy of it.
Save money on Multiple-stop flights
Multiple-stop flights can often be cheaper than direct flights – bear in mind though that your travel time will be longer because you’ll have to transfer to another plane, and possibly go through security/baggage claim depending on where you are flying to/from.
It’s important to weight up the pros and cons, but if you can save upward of £300 (like I did on one flight last year), then it might be worth the extra travel time and potential additional stress.
Chill out with the locals
Along with flights, accommodation, the cost of food and drink is often the third largest expense for travellers, so eating and socialising at bars and restaurants near popular tourist areas is going to cost you a fortune – of course, there are some exceptions, e.g. in Thailand it is incredibly cheap no matter where you eat, but you’ll still save money eating and drinking where the locals hang out.
Be Sociable and smile
No matter how shit your day is, always be sociable and smile – no one reacts well to someone who is ranting and shouting in the street – you’ll get more help if you’re polite and smile. If you travel round the world alone, then it’s also important to be sociable and meet new people, not only is it good for your mental health, but, you’ll learn much more about the destination.
Planning ahead is wise
Being informed is the best way to keep the stress levels down while travelling. Prior to moving on to a new destination write down the details on your flight (i.e. airline contact details, reservation number, flight number, terminals etc.) along with any other forms of transport that you’ll be using.
Then, make a note of the name, address and contact details of your accommodation, and plan how you will get there on arrival in your destination. Believe me, there’s nothing worse than arriving in a destination late at night, and not knowing how to get to your accommodation – more so when you’ve just been on a ten-hour flight and you need sleep desperately.
Of course, you could enter all of this information on a mobile app like Tripit, but the batteries on mobile devices don’t last forever, so it is always a good idea to keep useful travel information written down, should the worse case scenario happen.